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07/16/2014 / thriftomancer

Manic quilt again

Around mid-April I got mildly sick with a spring cold/allergies and, as much as I hate being sick, I find I need to do it more often. I always end up making cool stuff. Seasonal changes are usually when I come down with a cold and do impulsive, creative stuff. This time I took a break from the blue-green quilt to work on the manic quilt and finished it.

If you’ll remember, this is the last I showed you of it, way back last year:

Manic quilt WIP

After taking that, I finished the top in black linen like so and stored it away for months to work on the blue-green quilt.

Manic WIP - Top done!

I eventually got tired of seeing it folded up and lonely in the corner and decided it was time to finish it.

First order of business was to make the back. I did have a lot of possible designs that I worked up over the intervening months, but (and remember, I was sick again) then remembered the spirit in which the front was made (Just get up and do it already!) and summarily threw all those plans out. The only piece of the plan I kept was the color: It was still going to be orange.

I hauled out all my orange linen and picked a few shades that I liked best.

Manic WIP - Back fabrics

After carefully ironing each piece I threw them all on the floor in a prototype arrangement pile and started slicing.

Manic WIP - Test layout

Granted, it wasn’t as haphazard a process as the front’s design and fabrication was. Orange linen is much rarer than blue and I didn’t want to waste it, so I didn’t fall completely into a creative berserker rage, but it was close.

Manic WIP - Back panel

That’s the center panel of the back. The whole process of making it and attaching the black linen border/rest of the back took about 4 days, just because of all the cutting and piecing required.

(Improv is weird that way. You work fast because there’s no plan to stick to and you just do what looks right. At the same time you work really slow because you’re doing what looks right and you need to find that perfect piece of fabric for every single spot.)

Once I had the backing done I immediately basted the batting (cotton flannel this time) on, joined the top and back, re-basted the whole thing together, all those necessary steps. Then I folded it up and let it sit for a week and a half while I pondered how to quilt it to best effect. If you’re wondering, yes, that was about the time I started feeling better.

I had some issues figuring it out, mostly because whatever color I chose for my quilting thread would be seen on both sides and I didn’t want too much clashing, flashing colors-type interactions. That ruled out orange and blue. In the end I grabbed black for the black sections and gray for the color sections because it goes well with everything and I like it on its own merits. Worked out well.

Since I like to give finished pictures a dedicated post, they’ll be up next post.

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